Story by Metal Head Cosa
Photos by Geula Justice, Photographer
Nothing More performed Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Regency Live in Springfield, Mo., during an early stop of their tour in support of their new album, “The Stories We Tell Ourselves.” Along for the ride was fellow rockers Hell or Highwater, My Ticket Home, and Palisades.
Having never heard of Palisades, who opened the show, and My Ticket Home, I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised with the show from both bands.
Palisades, with their high-energy bass player Brandon Elgar, wielding guitars Matt Marshall and Xavier Adames, smiling beat master Aaron Rosa and lead vocalist Louis Micell, had no problem getting the crowd going with their New Jersey-based hard rock, banging riffs and crisp vocals. They were well received and I have no doubt Springfield would love to have them back.
As with Palisades, I didn’t know what to expect with My Ticket Home. Derek Blevins and Matt Gallucci on guitars/vocals, Marshal Glumenti on drums and Nick Giumenti on bass/vocals had no problem keeping the energy high with their in-your-face, down-and-dirty Ohio-based metal. I easily found myself banging my head along to their bold tracks.
I don’t think many people had heard of Hell or Highwater before the show, so being a fan already I was happy to see them in main support and knew they would get everyone bouncing along. The band consists of Nick Maldonado on bass, Joey Bradford and Jon Hoover on guitars, Kyle Rosa on drums, and Brandon Saller, of Atreyu fame, on vocals.
We were not disappointed because, as I expected, Hell or Highwater was celebrating the release of their new album “Vista” and immediately got the crowd moving with their expressive, upbeat, wanna-party-style rock. They were rocking so hard they lost the “T” in their “Vista” display, prompting Saller to remind fans they take Visa at the merch table.
Their live set is highlighted by Saller’s interaction with the crowd, such as taking guitarist Hoover on his shoulders to the bar and then appearing on the balcony to share a drink with a fan, all while the band has the crowd jamming to their vibrant brand of rock and roll.
You could tell the appeal of Nothing More was vast in age range and style of person, the venue close to its 850-person capacity. You could find just about every age in the crowd, from the little rocker singing along to every word to the mom and dad with their kids banging along. Everyone was there to share in the love of live music and Nothing More.
Even though the album hasn’t dropped and only a few singles have been released, fans were already singing along and banging their heads as Nothing More’s set began. Like any great band, they gave the crowd a classic as they played “MTV.” Their third track, “Don’t Stop,” was another new one released from the new album, something I have coined as “techno chunk.”
“It is a different for us and not really our core sound but we all personally love it,” vocalist Johnny Hawkins said before the show.
It is a different sound for NM, but right from the start it was well-received by the crowd. Its high-energy beat is a perfect match for Hawkins’ non-stop bouncing, jumping and flying from one corner of the stage to the other, interacting with what seemed to be every fan in the venue.
Throughout the entire show Hawkins never stopped moving, using every inch of the stage, and you can tell he pours his heart into anything he sings and wants you to feel it in your soul.
They continued the set with a killer bass solo from Daniel Oliver, then into an unreleased new track, “Ripping Me Apart.” Topping what I thought could not be any louder were the cheers when they went into the single “Go to War,” a track bred from the heartache of a broken relationship.
It came from a place “filled with so much anger and rage,” Hawkins said with passion in his eyes, that he just had to get it out and exercise some demons to “give them a purpose.”
“The next song is the song I said we would never do because there are enough sappy love songs,” Hawkins said in introduction. Well, Johnny, let me say they don’t write sappy love songs like “Just Say When.”
Another track from the new album, it reaches into your chest, grabs hold of your metal heart strings and pulls them to the point where you could see people wipe away tears. As the crowd took in the beautiful acoustic version of the song lead guitarist Mark Vollelunga and Hawkins played, it was easy to tell this song hit home for a lot of NM fans.
As the band launched into “I’ll be OK/Here’s to the Heartache,” the entire Regency was swinging, swaying and singing along to every word just like one big family around a fire.
Next, the band gave us an unreleased track. “Do You Really Want It” is an explosive song you are going to love, and you can tell the band has a lot of fun playing it. Next, they hit us with one of their biggest hits and very personal tracks, “Jenny.”
Finally, it was time for what we had all been waiting for – the scorpion tail!
Like a fancy video game for Hawkins to manipulate sound, which Oliver said is “a physical representation of the audio people hear.” The beast is a combination of the drum-tron lift and the scorpion tale.
The crowd loved it and it took up every bit of the stage as it rose to its almost 12-foot height, putting Hawkins’ head right to the ceiling.
The group also pulled out their classic tricks fans have come to expect. On top of the Scorpion, they also play their Bassinator, which is a stand Oliver places his bass on. He and Vollelunga start picking away at the fingerboard while Hawkins joins with drum sticks and plays the chords on the bass’ body. They also jammed a triple drum solo the crowd loves to see.
Nothing More’s Springfield show was an epic, not-to-be-missed, life-changing, emotionally-draining and physically-exhausting experience that left you feeling like you really bonded with the band.
“The Stories We Tell Ourselves” is available now. Follow Nothing More on Facebook here. Be sure to follow Central Mo News on Facebook for an extended photo gallery. Listen to Smith’s interview with Jonny Hawkins and Daniel Oliver in its entirety below.